Dark Chocolate Banana Bread with Cherries

I’ve been on a bit of a baking kick recently using up all the all the summer sweets I’ve been picking up at the farmers’ markets.  Some things I’ve been making recently include:   brown butter sautéed peaches over a Yeast Nashville kolache, cherry almond clafoutis, stone fruit & blueberry clafoutis, and this dark chocolate banana bread with cherries:

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

Dark chocolate banana bread is one of my favorite twists on classic banana bread, and adding fresh cherries adds some bright flavor AND makes the cake extra moist.  Win, win.

Also, this bread is made with double fruit (hi, bananas and cherries) so I feel absolutely no guilt taking down a slice (or two) for breakfast.  Have you noticed a trend in my baked goods consumption?  Pretty sure I used the exact same argument for eating the clafoutis for breakfast.  I’m not at all sorry.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

Dark Chocolate Banana Bread + Cherries*

Recipe Inspired By Smitten Kitchen’s Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 large mashed bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp espresso
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup halved & pitted cherries
  • Powdered sugar to garnish (optional)

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

The key to any successful banana bread is extra ripe bananas.  Even the ones above could have gone a couple more days before I used them to make the bread.  So let your bananas get extra ripe!  It makes for a sweeter more banana-y finished product.

So now that you’ve verified your bananas are extra ripe, preheat your oven to 350.  Either grease or line with parchment paper a 9×5 loaf pan.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

In a large mixing bowl, combine bananas, eggs, greek yogurt, vanilla, espresso, and melted butter.  This mixture is going to look gross, plain and simple, but it’s the backbone of good chocolate banana bread!  The espresso helps to magnify the chocolate flavor, but you could use strong leftover coffee or omit it completely if you don’t have any on hand.

Once the wet ingredients are mixed, it’s time to add your dry ingredients.  Whenever I bake with cocoa powder, I use a fine mesh strainer to make sure there are no lumps in whatever I’m baking.  Place the strainer over your mixing bowl of wet ingredients and measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder directly into the strainer.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients then add the kosher salt.  If you add the salt with the rest of the dry ingredients before sifting, it will just get caught in the strainer.

Mix everything together with a wooden spoon just until a batter starts to form.  It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy.  The more you mix the more gluten starts to form -this is great if you’re making a dense, chewy loaf of bread like a baguette, but not great if you want light and fluffy banana bread.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

So once your batter is sufficiently mixed (there are no pockets of flour left) but not over-mixed (the batter is not completely smooth), then it’s time to fold in your cherries.  Reserve a few for the top of the bread.

Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and top with the remaining cherries.  Bake in the oven at 350 for 55-65 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

After baking for about an hour, test the chocolate banana bread for doneness.  The cherries can mess up your normal toothpick test, so I recommend testing at least 3 spots in the bread.  When you insert a toothpick and remove it, it should come out clean with no batter stuck to it.

Once it passes the toothpick test, remove from the oven and let the bread rest on a wire rack until the pan is cool enough handle.  It should take about 10-15 minutes.  Once it’s cool enough to handle, remove the loaf from the pan and continue to let cool on a wire rack.  This ensures your bread doesn’t overbake as it rests in the pan!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread

Once cooled, slice the bread and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar (totally optional).  The chocolate banana bread will keep at room temperature wrapped in foil for 2-3 days.  Happy breakfast 🙂

Bon Appétit!

Dark Chocolate Banana Bread with Cherries

A fresh take on classic banana bread, this dark chocolate cherry banana bread is simultaneously decadent but light.  Fresh cherries ensure the bread is extra moist!  

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 large mashed bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tsp espresso, or strong black coffee
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup cherries, halved & pitted
  • Powdered sugar to garnish optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Either grease or line with parchment paper a 9x5 loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine bananas, eggs, greek yogurt, vanilla, espresso, and melted butter. 

  3. Once the wet ingredients are mixed, it's time to add your dry ingredients.  Place a strainer over your mixing bowl of wet ingredients and measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder directly into the strainer.

  4. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients then add the kosher salt. 

  5. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon just until a batter starts to form.  Once batter comes together, fold in the cherries reserving a few to top

  6. Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and top with the remaining cherries. Bake in the oven at 350 for 55-65 minutes.
  7. After baking for about an hour, test the chocolate banana bread for doneness. The cherries can mess up your normal toothpick test, so I recommend testing at least 3 spots in the bread. 

  8. Once baked through, remove from oven and let it rest on a wire rack until the pan is cool enough handle. Once it's cool enough to handle, remove the loaf from the pan and continue to let cool on a wire rack. 

  9. Once cooled, slice the bread and finish with a dusting of powdered sugar (totally optional).



2 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Banana Bread with Cherries”

  • Omg yes please!! You have certainly taken banana bread to another level in this post!! Dark chocolate and cherries are best friends, and then on top of that you added the coffe…mmmmm. This as a treat with a cup of tea would be the best thing ever! Excellent work (:

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